Although none of them are seniors, North’s soccer team returns seven starters who will try to claim a conference crown for the fourth year in a row.
“We have a really good shot at winning it again,” coach Tim Eirich said.
Four of them made all-Fox River Classic Conference in Erica Herzog, Anna Fogle, Abby Reinl and Peyton Baker.
The Golden Raiders feature a good junior class and the coach says this is probably the most talented group of freshmen he’s had in several years.
“We’re really talented in all positions, but we’re really talented in the midfield positions,” he said. “We’ll want to push more people up front, to get them more into the flow of the offense quicker than we did last year.”
However, North has to replace three all-conference players, including Dana Fish, the league’s offensive player of the year who is at Valparaiso now.
Its six wins last year was its most since 2014, and Rylee Brotz is the top returner.
However, Brooklynn Wiltzius (Northern Michigan recruit) is not playing this year so she can practice with her club team that qualified for nationals.
And Halle Boldt graduated after ranking fourth in the FRCC with 21 goals and earning first-team all-conference.
The co-op had a winning record last year for the first time since 2014 and returns eight starters. Two of them are all-Big East players in Maria Zylstra and Ambryn Diener.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Peyton Baker, soph., North
The goalie earned all-Fox River Classic honorable mention as a result of making 32 saves.
Rylee Brotz, sr., South
She was second on the team with six goals a year ago to receive all-league honorable mention.
Ambryn Diener, sr., Luth/Ch
The forward made all-Big East honorable mention last season.
Anna Fogle, jr., North
The midfielder made all-FRCC second team last season with four goals and three assists.
Erica Herzog, soph., North
This midfielder made first-team all-league after leading her squad with 11 assists.
Abby Reinl, jr., North
All-conference honorable mention was given to her after ranking second with 12 goals.
Maria Zylstra, soph., L/C
As a freshman, she led her team with 17 goals to make all-BEC second team.